I would like to say that the PR war has begun over the shutdown but it's probably more appropriate to say the PR war continues.
Gov. Dayton made his case in St. Cloud that he's working to find a compromise to the budget impasse. MPR says some in the audience supported him but many more just wanted a deal done:
"I just lost a house payment worth of wages. I'm wondering how many people up here, up at the table, can say that they are wondering where their house payment is going to come next month." - State employee Jim Golombecki
Dayton today will talk health care in Rochester and Economic Development in Albert Lea today.
Tidbit: Several unions will meet with Dayton tonight. Dayton's spokeswoman confirms the meeting but says it's closed press.
Republicans continued to push for a "lights on" bill but offered nothing in terms of a budget offer.
Tidbit: Several Republicans say polling shows a lights on bill is polling at 80%. Democrats argue raising income taxes on millionaires has the same numbers.
The Wall St. Journal takes a look at Minnesota's budget meltdown.
Bloomberg quotes former GOP Sen. Dave Durenberger as saying he's not sure Dayton has the negotiating skills to get the job done.
Members of the clergy call for more revenue to end the shutdown.
Wisconsin finally coughed up the $60 million it owes the state in income tax reciprocity.
The shutdown judge says Minnesotans should flood politicians with the stories about the impact of the shutdown.
The shutdown is cutting off the flow of alcohol to bars and restaurants.
MPR says the shutdown is a mixed bag for the tourism industry.
Several GOP lawmakers will hold a news conference at Canterbury Park to call for Dayton to call a special session so the park can open. The Star Tribune says Canterbury Park has no races, no purses and no reason to stay.
MPR says lawyers, pawn shops and private campgrounds will do more business because of the shutdown.
Minnesotans vent their shutdown frustration online.
President Obama tells CBS News that he's not sure Social Security checks will go out if the debt ceiling isn't raised.
Politico says the House GOP is not ready to blink on debt negotiations.
Speaker Boehner: "I don't know what happens if a debt ceiling isn't reached."
Obama exploits the rift between Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls for raising the debt ceiling in steps.
Congress hears an outcry from the business lobby on the debt ceiling and the deficit.
An Army Ranger was awarded the Medal of Honor.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the latest Democrat to call on oil companies to give up their subsidies.
The House GOP fails to turn off the federal light bulb standards.
GOP cuts to conservation rile the hook and bullet crowd that typically backs the GOP. DFL Rep. Tim Walz is mentioned.
Race for U.S. Senate
Race for President
President Obama raised $86 million for his campaign and the DNC in the 2nd Quarter breaking fundraising records.
AP picks up on the story that focuses on the clinic tied to GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and how a counselor offers to help an undercover gay rights activist overcome his sexual urges.
Is the GOP establishment getting nervous about a Bachmann candidacy? Former PA Gov. Tom Ridge raps Bachmann's credentials.
The New York Times says Bachmann added staff to court major donors.
Bachmann says she'll be in South Carolina later this week.
Bachmann will be holding fundraisers for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition later this month.
The Washington Post's Dan Balz says Tim Pawlenty is in a box when it comes to Iowa's marriage pledge. Mitt Romney said he wouldn't sign it. Bachmann did. Pawlenty has to decide if he wants to win Iowa's social conservatives or run as a more mainstream candidate.
AP points out that Pawlenty's memory of the 2005 shutdown doesn't square with his words and actions at the time.
Pawlenty will participate in a national Twitter jobs conference.
An Iowa RNC Committeewoman backs Rick Santorum.(1 Comments)
The latest 2012 poll shows GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann surging into second place - making her the top contender to perceived GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.
The latest Quinnipiac University national poll shows Romney with support from 25 percent of those polled. Bachmann has support from 14 percent of those polled. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who hasn't announced whether she'll run, is polling at 12 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who hasn't announced his intentions yet, has support of ten percent of those surveyed.
Tim Pawlenty has support from three percent of those polled and is in seventh place among the candidates listed. Pawlenty has recently said that he's not focused on polling data as he makes his case to the voters. But what should be most troubling is that he's been on the campaign trail longer than many of the other candidates and still isn't catching fire.
In fact, Pawlenty's poll numbers didn't move when poll respondents were asked who they would pick if Palin and Perry didn't run.
The most troubling sign: Pawlenty's numbers were higher in Quinnipiac's previous polls than the July survey.
The survey also found that the nation is split on President Obama. 47 percent say they would vote to give Obama another term. 47 percent say they would not. Obama wins the head to head match ups against Bachmann, Romney, Palin and Perry.(8 Comments)
In an effort to help Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers overcome their budget stalemate, a group of six budget experts have suggested a temporary 4 percent income tax increase on all Minnesotans.
Dayton wants to raise income taxes on the state's highest earners to close the budget gap - but not on everyone else.
Property taxes are the reason, he said in a press release responding to the plan.
"Most other Minnesotans are already over-taxed, due primarily to the 75 percent increase in property taxes statewide during the previous eight years."
Dayton's claim is largely accurate.
There are two ways to measure how much property taxes increased over the last eight years.
First, there are local property taxes. They're used to support schools and other local services. In calendar year 2002, property tax revenue amounted to roughly $4.02 billion. In calendar year 2010, local property taxes came in around $7.12 billion.
That's an increase of 77 percent.
If you factor in the property taxes the state collects, which are imposed on businesses and recreational homes, revenue in 2002 was about $4.6 billion. In 2010, property taxes came in at 7.88 billion, amounting to a 71 percent increase - less, but still in range.
As an aside, local property tax increases are an indirect product of decisions made in the Capitol. When state aid declines, as it did during former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration, it's city and county officials, not the governor or the Legislature, who decide how much to increase property taxes to continue supporting local services.
All together, property taxes have increased 71 percent over the last eight years. Dayton's off by a few percentage points, but he's basically correct.
Gov. Mark Dayton, Governor Dayton's statement on recommendations from budget committee, July 7, 2011
MPR News, Mondale/Carlson Commission: Tax cigs, alcohol and income, July 7, 2011
Minnesota Department of Revenue, Price of Government, March 2011
WASHINGTON - With high-level talks underway between President Obama and Congressional leaders to raise the Treasury Department's debt ceiling before an Aug. 2 deadline, GOP Rep.- and presidential candidate - Michele Bachmann sought to turn the debate in her preferred direction, declaring that the debt ceiling should never be raised.
Bachmann's position complicates an already delicate situation on Capitol Hill.
Republican leaders now reluctantly concede that a debt limit increase is a necessity even as many members of the Republican caucus reject the idea of raising the debt ceiling and the potentially disastrous consequences that economists and business leaders warn could follow a failure to increase Treasury's borrowing authority.
Members of Congress, staffers and reporters alike were plunged into confusion yesterday after the Senate's top Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, offered what he described as a "Plan B" to end the debt ceiling debate and authorize the Treasury to continue borrowing (you can read the details of McConnell's baroque plan here).
In a sign of that confusion, Bachmann, whose press operation often quickly puts out press releases about major news events, was silent on the proposal until this morning's press conference to promote a bill that would prioritize paying interest on the national debt and paying service members' salaries in the event of a default.
When asked if she supported McConnell's plan, which would enable Republicans to vote no on raising the debt ceiling while allowing an increase to take place, Bachmann made it clear she wouldn't vote for anything that allowed a debt increase to pass.
"I'm no on raising the debt ceiling right now," Bachmann said. "I've seen a lot of smoke and mirrors in the time that I've been here."
Bachmann was joined on stage by tea party allies Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX). About 50 Republican members of the House belong to the tea party caucus and many, like Bachmann, King and Gohmert, view the debt ceiling debate as their opportunity to make a mark on Washington by drastically cutting federal spending.
That complicates the math for House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who need 218 votes from a caucus of 240 members.
All three House members on stage downplayed the consequences of raising the debt limit before the Aug. 2 deadline, when the Treasury Department says it will run out of cash.
Bachmann called the idea of a default after that date, "a misnomer" because federal tax revenues would continue to exceed interest payments on the debt so in her view, no default would take place. That's a claim Bachmann has repeated before and MPR's Poligraph declared it misleading in part because other federal obligations, such as Social Security payments, Medicare reimbursements and discretionary spending would have to be cut or delayed.
One reporter asked Bachmann who would not be paid if the debt ceiling wasn't raised. Bachmann evaded the question, saying only that it was important that "full faith and credit of the United States" should not be impaired and denouncing President Obama's warning last night that Social Security checks might not go out on time in the case of a default.
"The real world is telling all of the politicians, get your act together, stop being political, stop playing with us, we're not pawns in your game," said Bachmann, who also mentioned her presidential campaign stops in Iowa this week and her determination to make President Obama a one term president.(3 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty have more in common than just being former Republican governors now running for president: both won't sign a pledge from the Iowa evangelical group Family Leader.
In a statement this afternoon, Pawlenty pointed to his own marriage and his opposition to same-sex marriage but said, "rather than sign onto the words chosen by others, I prefer to choose my own words."
Rival candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, has signed the pledge, which includes a requirement that candidates vow fidelity to their spouses, condemn gay marriage, abortion and pornography and pledge to reduce the size of government. Former Sen. Rick Santorum has also signed the pledge but Mitt Romney declined, calling the document "undignified."
The Family Leader's pledge came under criticism because it stated that black families had been more cohesive under slavery than they are today. The organization is led by an influential Iowa evangelical, Bob Vander Platts, who helped Mike Huckabee organize his 2008 victory in the Iowa caucus.